16 October 2013

Grandes Cambios

The weather is a funny thing in Spain. Every day there is a ten minute section of the evening news dedicated to this very subject. That is nearly as much time as is spent on the joys of handball, Rafa Nadal and La Liga. Sometimes, there’s even a follow-on programme that gives a more detailed forecast or goes on to explain certain curious meteorlogical happenings. If the British are obsessed by the weather, in Spain people are obsessed by the weather and Rafa Nadal.

The other night, the weatherman rattled off at break-neck speed a list of maximum and minimum temperatures to be expected the following day. Even if I had been able to follow his machine-gun Spanish completely, I wasn't too concerned as all I could see was 20s and 30s on the map of Spain. Then, as if breaking some dreadful news to a distressed relative, he paused for breath and pointed to somewhere north of Madrid, "but in this area it’s going to be cold"....the word "frio" was now ringing in my ears.... "with a maximum of 19 degrees". Excuse me? I was expecting a chilly 6 or 4, not 19. It's certainly all relative.

The weatherman proceeded to warn us of big changes ahead - "grandes cambios". Oh here we go, autumn is round the corner. If there were any leaves left on the parched trees in our valley, they would surely be falling soon. Grandes cambios were on their way. "And in Almeria and Murcia we can expect temperatures reaching only 28 degrees and there is a chance of a cloud, but otherwise full sun." As my friends in the UK would say "scorchio". I never saw the Fast Show, so just thought it was a bit of an insider’s joke whenever someone shouted it out mid conversation. Anyway, the much-promised "grandes cambios" were to be a temperature plummet of two degrees and maybe a cloud. I can live with that. Just as long as the day after tomorrow isn't followed by more "grandes cambios" of the same magnitude, because even I know that 2 plus 2 equals 4, and after all, autumn is a slippery slope on the temperature front. Not here, though. "And the day after tomorrow temperatures will recover". I love the use of the word "recover". I hope the temperatures are feeling better soon. Poor things. So, the long and short of it is, I don't actually need to don my autumn flip-flops just yet.

Obviously, the Spanish media are however convinced that the inevitable decline of autumn is already upon us. The next feature on the evening news was all about how to prepare your wardrobe for winter. Apparently, you can even hire someone to come round and help you with the mammoth task of packing up all those summer tops and shorts. We are then entertained with five minutes of footage showing people vacuum-pack their "summer clothes"  and then hang up their "autumn clothes" in the now empty wardrobe. The end result being a wardrobe full of the same type of clothes. The best thing is to vacuum pack them or in general use plastic storage as it keeps the dust out. Thanks for your help. Apparently, that way, in the spring, I can get my clothes back out of their wraps and they won't even be creased. It's amazing. The whole feature resembled a QVC classic.

Yes, autumn is round the corner. Almeria being the last corner of Spain for a lot of things, including grandes cambios in the weather. Still, the word “drizzle” rarely features in a Spanish weather report, so all is good. Actually, I’m not actually all that keen on the word “autumn” to be honest. Right, I'm off for a swim.

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